Frequently Asked Questions: Fee & Tax Waiver Program

Who is eligible for this program?

One is eligible if:

  • The home was registered in California in the past by someone else.
  • The owner has never registered the home in his or her name before with HCD.
  • The owner hasn’t previously participated in the Fee and Tax Waiver Program.

Those who have previously registered the mobilehome or manufactured home in their name but haven’t paid back registration fees and taxes are not eligible.

Is there an income limit for the program?

No. We want mobilehome and manufactured homeowners, regardless of their income, to register and receive title for their property. We recognize that many mobilehome or manufactured home owners are low- to moderate-income residents, including many who live on a fixed income and will find that this makes it extremely affordable to register and get title.

What’s the benefit for someone to participate in the program?

This program waives certain fees and taxes that could result in thousands of dollars of savings for the owner of a mobilehome. In addition to getting fees and taxes waived, there are many secondary benefits to possessing title:

  • Owners won’t be blocked from improving their property – whether it is to install a new water heater, upgrade their electricity, put on a roof, or add a deck, just to name a few examples. Permits require proof of title and registration.
  • Owners can more easily sell their mobilehome or manufactured home with current title and registration.
  • Prospective buyers of mobilehomes or manufactured homes must have a clear title and registration if they want to finance their purchase of a mobilehome or manufactured home.
  • Current title and registration makes the transfer to a loved one easier.
  • Owners can take advantage of utility company offers for financial assistance, upgrades, or appliance financing where appropriate.
  • Having a title and registration enables property owners to apply for fire or flood insurance, where appropriate. 

What does it cost to register a mobilehome or manufactured home?

In most cases, fees will be $100 or less. Owners may also be required to pay a small “use” tax, i.e., a sales tax averaging above or below a few hundred dollars on either the original purchase price or the home retail value, whichever is lower.

What does the State require to show proof of ownership?

To get started with the application process, the owner should present the previous title. If they don’t have it, we can help them apply for a duplicate title and registration card.

Will the State check the legal status of mobilehome or manufactured homeowners who apply for the program?

No. We do not keep records on citizenship. Homeowners will not be asked for their legal status nor will they be required to present any documentation on immigration status as part of the application.

How many mobilehomes or manufactured homes don’t have proper titles?

Of approximately 500,000 mobilehomes or manufactured homes in California, we estimate about 160,000 — more than one in three — may not have title in the current owners’ name and have liens on their property for back taxes and fees in amounts of hundreds to several thousands of dollars each.

Will mobilehome or manufactured homes have to come into compliance with building codes in order to qualify?

No. The Fee and Tax Waiver Program doesn’t require that.

The only safety requirement included in this process is for the homeowner to verify, in writing, that the mobilehome or manufactured home has an operable smoke and carbon dioxide detector and a braced water heater.  

Some mobilehome or manufactured homeowners may be eligible for local tax relief.  How do they know if they owe back county taxes or State fees?

Approximately 85 percent of all mobilehome and manufactured home owners have a home manufactured before July 1, 1980 and do not accrue local property taxes.

In 1980, the law changed and required local property tax be paid on homes manufactured after July 1 of that year. This represents about 15 percent of the owners.

Our application process will help the homeowner figure out which taxes and fees are applicable, and assist with steps needed to obtain the appropriate waiver from the State or county tax collector.

What if someone wants to wait to take advantage of this program?

This program is not permanent or open ended. Current law requires participants to take advantage of this program before December 31, 2019. 

Why did the State establish the program and what is it trying to achieve?

It addresses a growing problem: Many low- to moderate-income mobilehome and manufactured home owners are finding themselves in situations where they can’t comply with the law to register their property because they can’t afford to pay back taxes and fees that have been compounding year after year.

The Legislature passed the Fee and Tax Waiver Program to incentivize these Californians to get their property back onto the California Department of Housing and Community Development registration rolls by removing the barrier of back taxes and fees. It enables homeowners to clear the slate and begin the annual process of registration affordably.

Check registration and title

Unsure about the title and registration of your mobilehome? You can check the latest information with our new tool. Just click here and provide the information on the decal of your mobilehome. Then, if you are not listed as the homeowner, please contact us.

Check Eligibility

Are you a county tax collector with questions about the Fee and Tax Waiver Program? Please check our frequently asked questions just for you.